In the Name of Brains!

Alice was living in Karina's basement, skipping class to sketch joggers. Karina was working on her third level black belt, and her brother Christian was crushing hard on Andrea. Andrea just wanted to grow up and take over her father's company. None of them were expecting their school to blow up or for the dead to rise. They also didn't expect to meet Jonathan and his younger sister, Theresa. And the zombies? They just wanted some d*mn brains.


1. A School Blows Up

I had always loathed school. I never felt quite... right in the bustling halls. Not even the art room with its rich paint smell and wide open windows could rid me of the restless feeling in my bones. Today was no different. The usual bustle of teens, the shouts, the squeaks of tennis shoes on overly-polished wooden floors. The noises were adding up, and I was developing a headache.

Rubbing my temples, I turned to Karina, my closest friend. "I'm going to skip Calculus." I moaned."I need a break from all of this."

Karina sighed. "Again? This is the second time this week. He will fail you, you know." When I didn't reply, she sighed. "Going to draw joggers and trees again?"

"I like to." I whined. "I feel happy doing that. Not this... sort of stuff."

Karina giggled. "Whatever You can copy my notes tonight, yes? In return, you have to do my Spanish homework. I have Tae-Kwon-Do tonight."

I smiled gratefully at her. "Thanks a lot. Even though you're making me do your homework."

I had always loved school. The studious atmosphere, the social scene, the riveting classes. I truly enjoyed my life as a student. I soon met my foil, however, in the form of Christian Dinnean. We were in many of the same classes, and his attitude and egotistical ways nearly drove me to homicide. Our last names were close - Dinnean and Dumier -, so we sat next to each other in all of our classes. No matter what the class was talking about, the two of us would fall into an argument.

We were working on homework in Calculus, impatiently waiting for the class to end. I was focusing on my assignment as Christian chatted with his twin sister, Karina.

"I'll prolly pick Alice up during lunch and go home to eat." Karina was saying. "Do you want to come with us?"

"Nah," Christian replied. "I was going to stay here today. Spend some money, you know?"

"Whatever," Karina shrugged. "Your loss. I don't really care."

And then the world exploded.

My vision was filled with a blinding white light, and my right arm seemed to burst into flames. The world tilted to the left, and I tumbled to the hard linoleum.

As the light faded, leaving black dots on my vision, I found myself lying on the floor next to the white board. I tried to sit up, but my right arm screamed in protest. I slowly felt it with my other hand. It came away warm and sticky. Slowly, stiffly, I turned my head to look at my wound. I had to bite my lip to keep from crying. My arm resembled tenderized meat, and blood was rapidly leaking out of the wound and onto the cold floor. Over the ringing in my ears, I heard a voice coughing my name.

"Andy?" The voice cracked. "Andrea!"

The voice clicked in my head. "Christian?" My voice crackled. "What... what just happened?"

A hand reached out of the cloud of dust and gripped my injured arm. Screaming in pain, my entire body jerked away from the hand.

The hand turned out to be connected to Christian, who was scrambling out of the dust. "Oh, Andy..." He carefully pulled me into a sitting position. "Karina!" he coughed into the room."Found her!"

Karina crawled over to us, her forehead scratched and bleeding. "Jesus, Chris. Her arm."

My eyes rolled back up into my head as Christian replied. "Let's get her out of here, see if we can find somebody to help her."

"Aren't you not supposed to move an injured person?" Karena asked, voice hoarse.

"But something might happen if we leave her," Christian replied. "We need to get her out of here."

Karena bowed her head. "Pick her up, bridal style. I'll keep her arm as still as I can."

They stared at each other for a few seconds. "Thanks," Christian muttered. Karina shrugged.

Feeling nervous, I spoke up. "Do I have a say in this? Because if I do, I'd rather stay here until a professional comes along."

"Nope," Christian replied cheekily. "You don't have a say." Slipping his hands underneath me, he hefted me up. Pain blossomed through my body, and I blacked out.


I was happily sketching a tree in my notebook when the world seemed to rock. A deafening sound swept through the park, followed closely by a wall of heat and debris.

Shaking the ringing out of my ears, I unsteadily stood up to find the source of the explosion. A cloud of dust and smoke rose from the direction of my school. My throat constricted, and I set off on a full sprint toward the cloud.

As I ran, I passed many shocked groups, congregating on the street and sidewalks, all pointing and shouting at the wall of grey.

Losing my breath, I slowed down to a quick trot, then a slow jog, and then finally a fast walk. A firetruck, followed by an ambulance, blasted past me, sirens blazing. With every step, a rock dropped deeper and deeper into my stomach, growing larger and larger.

Turning the last corner, I found that my fears were true. The school was now just a smouldering pile of melted metal and smashed brick. I stumbled toward an important-looking police officer. "What... What happened?" I chocked out.

The man turned to me, sympathy in his hazel eyes. "Bomb of some sort. Probably three or four of them, by the looks of the building. Do you go here?"

I nodded, tears streaming down my face. "Have you... found anybody?" I asked.

The man nodded. "A few. They're all going to Pure Heart Hospital on P street."

"Thanks," I murmured, stumbling away. I sat down heavily on the pavement, placing my chin on my arms. "Karina..." I mumbled.

I stared at the gaping hole where the entrance used to be, willing Karina to walk out of it, unscathed. After what felt like an hour, a group of dark shapes appeared form the rubble. Two medics were carrying a body on a stretcher, carefully picking their way through the debris. Beside them walked Christian and Karina, hands tightly clasped.

I jumped to my feet so quickly that I blacked out for a second. Fresh tears dripped down my face as I half-stumbled, half-ran toward my best friend. "Karina!" I gasped.

Her head snapped up at her name, and a wobbly smile appeared on her face. Letting go of her twin's hand, we met in a hug that consisted of flailing limbs and wet faces. "Alice... that was so scary..."

I squeezed her stomach, making her giggle. "It's okay now." I smiled at her. "What happened?"

"I dun know. We were just sitting in math when everything exploded. People are dead, Alice. Dead." Karina sobbed, makeup smearing across her face.

A firefighter walked up to the three of us. "What are your names? We need to contact your guardians and take you to the hospital."

Christian stepped toward the man. "My name is Christian Dinnean, and she's Karina, my sister. That girl," he said, pointing at me, "is Alice Winthrop. She's living with us."

"Thank you," the firefighter said, writing the information down. "And your parent's information?"

As Christian answered him, another firefighter led us away, taking us to an ambulance. "We'll need to run some tests," he said, smiling a false smile. "Just in case."

We nodded in understanding, climbing into the back. Christian soon clambered in behind us, and the driver slowly drove away. An uneasy silence fell between us as a medic dabbed at Karina's forehead with a bandage.

We were heading to Pure Heart Hospital, and for some odd reason, I couldn't shake my feeling of impending doom.
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